Airplane Safety Features to Make Crashes Survivable

AmSafe said its patented seat belt air bags, which cost roughly $1,250 apiece, are used on about 25,000 seats on more than 30 airlines worldwide.

The air bag seat belts are increasingly in use in private planes as well, where, AmSafe said, they have already saved lives.

"The bag deploys in about 50 milliseconds, which is quicker than you can blink your eye," said Tom Barth, director of research and development at AmSafe. And in aircraft accidents, every second counts.

The manufacturer also said these airbags are safer than those installed in cars because they deploy up and away from the passenger instead of toward you. And the designer insisted the air bag sensors were designed so they wouldn't suddenly deploy in heavy turbulence.

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